In Greek mythology, Hecale ( Hekálē), was an old woman who offered succor to Theseus on his way to capture the Marathonian Bull.
On the way to Marathon to capture the Bull, Theseus sought shelter from a storm in a shack owned by an ancient lady named Hecale. She swore to make a sacrifice to Zeus if Theseus was successful in capturing the bull. Theseus did capture the bull but when he returned to Hecale's hut, she was dead.
Theseus built a deme in her honor (Hecale was a deme of the tribe Leontis). The legend is described in a fragmentary poem, the Hecale, by Callimachus and in the "Life of Theseus" by Plutarch.
One of today's Athens northern suburbs, Ekáli, an affluent and very exclusive residential community on the western foot of Mount Penteli, is called by that name.
__NOTOC__The Hecale (, Hekalē) is a fragmentary Greek epyllion written by Callimachus during the third century BC. The eponymous heroine of the poem was an impoverished Attic widow with whom Theseus stayed on his way to subdue the Marathonian Bull. On his return from accomplishing this feat, Theseus found that his hostess had died, and, in return for her humble hospitality, the hero founded a deme named for her and established there a sanctuary of Zeus Hecaleus in her honor. Although poorly preserved by papyrus fragments and quotations in ancient authors, the broad outline of the Hecale is relatively certain, and the text stands as an important witness to the poorly understood genre of the Hellenistic epyllion. It was also extremely influential and was alluded to by later Hellenistic poets and, later, Roman writers such as Lucretius, Horace, Ovid and Apuleius.